Today’s book review of a single (5,000-word) short story is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
Flights of Nancy by Jennifer Gilby Roberts
Synopsis: What if you knew exactly when Mr. Right was going to show up? Nancy does. And, after years of waiting (im)patiently, the great day has finally arrived. And so has he. He’s not exactly what she was expecting …
Review (via my Kindle’s text-to-speech function)
Just for a change, I’ve picked a short story and from the off, the tone is nicely chatty. Nancy is in a predicament that many could relate to, and I enjoyed the interaction between the two main characters. Although Nancy’s name is in the title, it is also mentioned fairly early on, which is good because the story is told in first person point of view so it is often difficult to get in the main character’s name.
Despite David supposedly being the man of her dreams, Nancy is understandably very wary, at times a little over fussy and analytical, but it was an interesting process her getting to know somebody she is apparently destined to be with and the antics they get up to.
When the ending was revealed, I went back to the beginning day in the cafe thinking I may have missed something but I didn’t. If there is going to be a twist at the end, there should be a clue at the beginning. Also when the reveal about David happened, I had no sense of why they wouldn’t get together for that reason. Again there should be one or two clues.
And now for writers…
- Regular readers of these reviews will know that I’m a stickler for ‘Well’s at the beginning of sentences in dialogue and in this short story there are eighteen. FAR too many and it detracted from the enjoyment of the story which was a shame.
- There were no obvious typos as there shouldn’t be really in such a short story.
- The dialogue seemed very realistic and the narration authentic, although I did find it strange that ‘me mam’ crept up occasionally when talking about her mother when the rest of the time she says ‘my’. Perhaps that is a (northern) term of endearment kept only for her mother.
An enjoyable story, spoiled only by the proliferation of ‘well’s (mostly from David) and an ending I hadn’t expected (because there’s no hint of it anywhere else in the story!).
Rating: 3 out of 5
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a freelance editor, online tutor, prolific blogger, 2015 Head Judge for the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition, RONE 2015 Judge, and creative writing tutor for her local county council. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page) and has created five online writing groups.
Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List ($0.99 / £0.77) and she has nine others (mostly crime) in the works. She also has eight collections of short stories available (also $0.99 / £0.77 each) – detailed on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/short-stories.
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If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.